Suisi allo Sciliar, South Tyrol

Suisi allo Sciliar in South Tyrol

Siusi allo Sciliar (in German: Seis am Schlern) – that is name of the village at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi in South Tyrol with about 2,000 inhabitants (31.12.2023: 2,068 inhabitants). And who has not even visited the village, the geographic location of the place name can easily reference the widely known and popular assign holidays and vacation paradise of the Sciliar area.

Siusi is surrounded by the area of the Sciliar between the villages of Castelrotto and Fié allo Sciliar at an altitude of about 1,000 meters above sea level. Siusi is dominated by the Santner, a mountain that is located immediately next to Siusi and got its name from its first mountaineer Johann Santner.

For the first time the village was mentioned in a document in a commercial writing in the years 982 - 987. The bishops of Bressanone and Augsburg had agreed to the exchange of different lands of the area of Sciliar in this writing. But the village wasn’t always called "Siusi". So the village was also referred to already, for example, as Sevs, Suse, Sutsis and Siusis. Unfortunately, we don´t much known of the history of Siusi. The more imaginative legends report what happened in Siusi allo Sciliar. A legend tells, for example, that the inhabitants of Siusi allo Sciliar has always been hardworking people whose place was flooded by the waters of a lake east of Alpe di Siusi.

Life in Siusi

The citizens of Siusi earned their livelihood from agriculture since times. That this is fact, mentioned a visitor today on very quickly. Because the place itself is very influenced by agriculture and life goes on here by very peasant guidelines. That the tourism is one of the main sources of income of the inhabitants, the life has taken very little of its originality and its typical atmosphere of a mountain village. Extremely positively has to be mentioned that the tourist facilities of Siusi allo Sciliar are led exemplary.

The surrounding farms and churches make the past of the place for today's visitors and vacationers literally noticeable. But advances in technology and the openness of the inhabitants for new can be quite "experienced" at one point or another.

On the one hand we have to notice that the valley station of the modern Alpe di Siusi aerial cableway on the Alpe di Siusi is several years in Siusi allo Sciliar. This draws throughout the year in addition numerous tourists in the village. The car traffic on the Alpe di Siusi was very limited with the opening of the aerial cableway, so that the aerial cableway with the base station in Siusi allo Sciliar is now almost the only way to get from Altipiano dello Sciliar to the Alpe di Siusi.

In Siusi allo Sciliar you can find many typical restaurants of South Tyrol, pubs and cafes. But in recent years a restaurant is located near the village center that serves dishes alongside meals of South Tyrol also Mexican and Texan meals. In the “Peppers” – not a usual restaurant in the Altipiano dello Sciliar, as it calls itself - the visitor in the Mexican / Texan atmosphere but also "just" enjoy a glass of South Tyrolean wine.

For the Culinary in Siusi allo Sciliar is well catered for young and old.

The development of tourism

The inhabitants of Siusi allo Sciliar had lived until 20th Century a fairly isolated life. The infrastructure, as we know it today, in the past was not created for reaching near or even further afield easily. So first there existed some farmsteads in Siusi allo Sciliar. But there was already a commercial area on the brook freddo (Frötschbach) where there were forges in almost every kind.

The launch for the tourism fell only in 1887. In this year Siusi allo Sciliar was connected by a road with the railway station in Ponte Gardena. From then on it was "only" three and a half hours by coach to come to Siusi. And from this offer well-heeled holidaymakers made especially use to get into the health resort at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi. The crème de la crème came to Seis, to relax here and enjoy the summer.

To the well known guests in Siusi counted, for example, the king of Saxony, his family and the entire entourage resided at the hotel Salegg in Siusi (today reminds the king´s view (“Königswarte”; Veduta del re) at the hiking tour in Laranza on the visits of the King). Some people settled in Siusi allo Sciliar and have left traces that can still find in the village. For example, the Polish pianist Ignaz Friedman Siusi had chosen it as his adopted home and attracts the elite of the international music world by themselves. Today Ignaz Friedman is the namesake of the School of Music in Siusi.

The Tourism had completely changed after the Second World War. Whereas previously only the high society came to Siusi allo Sciliar to spend the holidays, now, all people with an average income come in the small mountain village. Since then, tourism is an important source of income for the inhabitants.

Today there is a wide range of suitable accommodation. Therefore Siusi allo Sciliar with the Alpe di Siusi fascinated almost all year many visitors and vacationer who want to spend here their favorite time of the year amid the Dolomites – which were awarded in 2009 by UNESCO as a World Heritage.

The ruins

Above Siusi allo Sciliar are two visible ruins - the ruin Hauenstein (Oswald´s castle) and the ruin Salegg.

The former castle of Salegg, first mentioned in 1154 under Henry of Saleck had many owners over the centuries, including inter alia the bishops of Trient, the bishops of Bressanone and Christoph Freiherr von Wolkenstein. Although the ruin can be seen from Siusi allo Sciliar gives a very historic impression, this has not much to offer. The castle was never habitable and today the ruin offers no more than a few historical walls.

A little bit younger – if you follow the official facts – is the Castle Hauenstein. It was first mentioned in the year 1186. Oswald von Wolkenstein, a late medieval poet, composer intended – also the owner of the castle – has lived on Hauenstein long time. Today Hauenstein, in the 17th Century fell into ruin, the property of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone.